The Universe is Expanding Surprisingly Fast

In the article, The Universe Is Expanding Surprisingly Fast on space.com author Mike Wall reveals that astronomers have discovered that the universe is expanding faster than originally thought. Astronomers used to think that the universe was expanding at a rate of 41.6 miles per second per megaparsec. One megaparsec is measured at about 3.26 million light-years. Now, the current expansion rate is measured to be 44.7 miles per second per megaparsec. This expansion rate is a value known as the Hubble Constant. This new rate was estimated by a team of researchers studying how the massive nearby galaxies warp the light coming from bright distant quasars.

The dark energy that drives the universe’s expansion has been growing stronger as it ages. Astronomers think that this mysterious dark energy leaves Einstein’s Theory of gravity with some holes. It reveals that future discrepancies in measurements can mean new physics beyond our understanding.

This article relates to our class and the conceptual objective, “I can explain how astronomers know that the universe is expanding and how they determine the age of the universe.” In class we have learned that galaxies that make up the universe are attracted to each other by gravity. As the years pass, surrounding galaxies are growing farther and farther away. The Hubble Constant tells us how old the universe is by measuring how far away objects are. Objects that emit light right after the Big Bang are roughly 14 billion light-years away, aging the universe at roughly 14 billion years.

When I found this article, I knew that I was going to find it fascinating. The title itself is just what caught my attention. New information showing us that the universe is expanding at a faster rate than originally thought is interesting to know. I wonder if this rate is going to keep increasing at time goes on. I am curious to find out. Overall, I enjoyed this article.

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